Local press report that Transpacific Broadband Group International (TBGI) is seeking to extend its congressional franchise for another 25 years as its plan to participate in the government’s third telco initiative. TBGI, a publicly traded firm in the Philippines with interests in VSAT-based internet services, wireless networking, educational programmes, applications hosting and content conversion, has applied to renew the franchise it holds under Republic Act No. 8675 to 2048. The franchise is currently set to expire in 2023. The firm’s vice president Paul Saria confirmed via a regulatory filing that the application is designed ‘to support the government’s initiative for a third telco to serve the public interest’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month TBGI announced its intention to enter the race to become the country’s third major telecoms player. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange TBGI unveiled a number of initiatives to support its bid, including selling up to 40% of the company for foreign investors in a private share sale, setting up a common tower company and tapping Chinese technology and telco partners. In the regulatory filing, the company said its board had approved the private placement. ‘The chairman informed the board of the need to raise funds from a private placement, up to 40% of common equity from foreign sources, to be able to participate in various opportunities in the telecommunication market brought about by a directive of the government to have a third telco in the Philippines’, the statement read.